Spenard and Fairview Rec centers are off the table for homeless emergency shelters, mayor says


Mayor Dave Bronson backtracked today and told the Anchorage Assembly that he would no longer take the Spenard and Fairview Recreation Centers, used by children and other members of the community, for emergency homeless shelters as winter approaches.

Mayor Bronson said that the people had spoken and he had listened. He said his administration would be working with the Emergency Shelter Task Force, run by the Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness, to find appropriate shelter options “that meet the needs of our city’s most vulnerable.” ACEH is run by executive director Meg Zaletel, who also serves on the Anchorage Assembly.

The Bronson Administration is faced with having to house hundreds of people who have been staying in the Centennial Campground and other places throughout the municipality this summer. As winter approaches, the need becomes more acute in order to stave off hypothermic death among the homeless.

“Homelessness in Anchorage is one of my administration’s top priorities,” Bronson said to the Assembly on Tuesday. “I’m committed to working with the Anchorage Assembly and our community partners to come up with successful solutions.”

He also said he was open to discussing with the Anchorage Assembly the topic of what to do with the Golden Lion Hotel at the corner of New Seward Highway and 36th Avenue. The city purchased that property for over $9 million when Mayor Ethan Berkowitz was in office, with the intention of turning it into a drug treatment center. It has been appraised for $6 million and the State Department of Transportation has said the state will probably take the parking lot through eminent domain to use for upgrades to the nearby busy intersection.

The Sullivan Arena, which had been used as a homeless shelter since the Berkowitz Administration, was closed to that use in June.

Photo: Parasport Alaska Facebook page, Spenard Rec. Center


  1. How convenient for Meg Zaletel. Ka-Ching, Ka-Ching. Similarly hamstrung – but never chastised for massive conflict of interest infringements – is Kameron Perez-Verdia, President and CEO of the Alaska Humanities Forum, who gave the green light to his NYC transplant employee, George Martinez to organize a NON-WHITES forum. What’s happening here in Anchorage with the current Special Needs 9 on the Assembly mimics the abysmally run, Democrat-controlled cities all over the Lower 48. They get an A for effort in working extremely hard to fail while taking Anchorage down the drain with them.

  2. You know. Government really must stop catering to the homeless. It will go loco always scrambling for where money comes and what will house homeless. Btw! How is the rebuilding of the port of alaska coming along? Thank God for his grace, he not permit another oversized earthquake to finish the port off what 2018 failed to do last 4years. God’s grace has limit.
    The govenment want to see a crisis that dwarfs the homeless crisis, imagine anchorage without the port. No one would be thinking about homeless or gender . they be
    thinking about their jobs.

    • Very good thought, plenty of other space there for other service providers too. Chris, Felix, Meg, wha-du-ya-think?

  3. The Golden Lion was purchased for one million too much ! originally… but HEY , what’s a few missing million between friends right ? Please notice Forrest Dunbar pressuring our elected mayor to make him a deal…. see video from muni last night. Felix and Constant’s performance last night pretending they were surprised by the navigation center amount was great entertainment.

  4. The entire southcentral area is littered with abandoned warehouses and storefronts. Cannot a few of these be resurrected as shelters? The problem is that the word “temporary” has disappeared from the conversation. We seem to have taken on the burden of completely providing permanent housing as well as food, medical, clothing, cell-phones, internet service, etc., to any and all that demand it.

  5. What Mayor Bronson needs to do is find a place where he wants to put the homeless, and demand it NEVER be used for that purpose. If he adamantly demanded that there will never be a homeless navigation center in Anchorage, and that buying a bunch of overpriced buildings that require top to bottom renovation is the way to go, he would get his navigation center.
    Reverse psychology works on toddlers and children, which means it works on leftists.

  6. The former JC Penney warehouse on Arctic Blvd. is empty and for lease. Big secure space, could handle lots of cots. Same with the former Sears warehouse on Old Seward. Got to be some of that ‘free’ federal money still floating around.

    • No, I would nominate instead the homes of every one of the assembly’s Marxist Nine as homeless shelters — you know, ‘be the change you wish to see’. But oh no, that would be an insult to the privileges of the Gods of the assembly!

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